New Delhi agrees to 1st `quadrilateral' meet

After months of holding back, India has agreed to the first meeting of joint secretary level officials of the `quadrilateral' -with the US, Japan and Australia. Although dates are yet to be set, senior official sources said the meeting will be held “soon“.

The announcement was not made by the MEA but by the US state department. Acting assistant secretary Alice Wells said, “We're looking at a working-level quadrilateral meeting in the near term, but I think the idea is how do we bring together countries that share these same values to reinforce these in the global architecture.“ India wants a grouping like the quadrilateral to advance its own agenda.

Wells described it as “a natural stepping stone from the very productive trilateral conversations and exercises that we've seen between India, Japan, and the US“. “ As we explore ways to ... try to inculcate some of the values -freedom of navigation, maritime security, humanitarian assistance, transparency--obviously, Australia will be a natural partner in that effort too,“ she said.

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